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Ask LADYLAWYER Your Own Question
Category: Legal
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how many times can you renew a temporary certificate of occupancy

Resolved Question:

how many times can you renew a temporary certificate of occupancy for a condo?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 8 years ago.



Generally, in NYC, a TCO for a condo can be renewed as many times as necessary as long as your CO Application is in "open" status. Please click ACCEPT so I can get credit for helping you. We can continue our conversation after this at no additional charge. Thanks!



Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 8 years ago.
Sorry, the rest of my answer did not come through. The NYC Code specifically states that "a temporary certificate of occupancy may only be renewed for a total period of two years from the date of its original issuance and that, if the temporary certificate of occupancy shall have expired prior to obtaining a permanent certificate of occupancy, residential occupancy of the premises will be in violation of the multiple dwelling law, subjecting the occupants and the cooperative corporation and its board of directors or, in the case of a condominium, the unit owners and board of managers, to penalties under the multiple dwelling law including eviction of residential occupants."
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

The condo bylaws say the following "Prospactive purchasers are adviced that a temporary certificate of occupancy may be renewed only for a total of two years from the first date of issuance" and goes on to say "sponsor projects but cannot assure that a permanent certificate of occupancy for the building will be obtained within two years after the first closing"

The condo was built in 2006 and they were issued a temporary certificate..they still have a temporary certificate and it's 2009. I have just signed a Condo Contract of Sale...can I get out of the closing without losing my downpayment on this?

Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 8 years ago.



Yes, you should be able to unwind the contract based on the fact that they do not have a valid CO. If a TCO expires and is not renewed, a new buyer may find it difficult or impossible to renew homeowner's insurance policies or to sell or refinance the new home. This is reason enough to get out of the contract.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
but the contract has no provision that specifically addresses that they need a CO to close the purchase so that's worrying. Also, from 2006 the condo has been issued a TCO. So how come they have obtained a TCO and been able to renew it even after 2 years have passed?
Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 8 years ago.


The law clearly states that a TCO is only renewable up to two years after issuance. So how do you know the TCO hasn't already expired? If it has, it does not matter that the contract does not have a provision that says they would need a CO to close. A buyer is entitled to back out of a sale's contract for many different reasons. One big one would be that the condo is free from any hindrances that might cause a big issue for the buyer when trying to obtain a CO. If you're trying to get out of this contract because you do not want the condo, you need to call the seller's agent and tell them that you foresee a problem with the TCO/CO because the law explicitly states that a TCO cannot be renewed for more than 2 years from the date of issuance. If you want to buy the condo, but are worried about obtaining the CO, you need to contact the Department of Buildings verify whether the TCO is in effect, and if so, why it still is, and for how much longer (it could very well be an oversight). Either way, this whole issue is reason enough to be able to back out of a contract.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I looked at the building address at NYC dept website and it shows that in 2006 they were issued a TCO. Still they are issuing renewed TCO's to the building. I did want to buy the condo and really didn't want to lose the apartment but I don't want to get something that will cause me problems. What happens after the TCO expires to the condo owners?
Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 8 years ago.

I definitely understand your concerns. If the Department of Buildings is still issuing TCOs, then there will probably not be any recourse since they are they ones that would enforce any of the laws. They are obviously issuing the TCOs in spite of the law, but if they aren't adhering to the Code, there is really no one that's going to stop them. In the event of an expired TCO, what usually happens is that Inspection Services mails a notice 30 days prior to the expiration. If there is no response to the notice, and the TCO expires, a Compliance Notice is issued with a deadline for compliance. If there is no response to the Compliance Notice, the matter is turned over to the City Prosecutor for appropriate action, and the electric meter will be removed. If someone is living there, eviction proceedings can be instigated. Do you know why the CO has not been issued yet?


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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
They have 19 violations...smoke alarm, plumbing etc...I have no idea why they are not rectifying these. They have not since 2006. So if the electric meter is removed then if I am living there and I leave the premises, do I still own the condo?
Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 8 years ago.
I would never advise any client of mine to buy a condo/home with that many violations that have not been fixed since 2006. Once you purchase the home, unless you have contracted otherwise, YOU will be responsible for fixing everything in order to receive the CO. And if the Department of Building does happen to decide your TCO is expired before all these things have been done and the CO issued, then you are going to be subjected to the scenario I described above. You would still own the condo, but at that point, you would be subjected to fines and perhaps litigation. You would probably also be evicted until the matter is resolved. It just isn't worth it.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The seller is very difficult. He won't even answer any questions and said he will meet me at the closing. If I refuse to close he will keep the 10% down payment?
Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 8 years ago.
I am assuming the seller is the builder, correct? Can you scan your contract on the computer and send it to me? If so, send it to [email protected] and put "FOR LADY LAWYER" in the subject line. Also, if you could please accept my answer so I can keep assisting you, I would certainly appreciate it. Thanks.